More Key posing.

We meet again, I have now broken down the the previous key poses into more detailed ones. Just to get the general feel on how fast some things should be compared to others. But a lot of the movements are not timed right now. It’s darn hard, but I guess with more practice and observation I’ll get the hang of it. Here is how far I have gotten now.


I shot some references this morning of myself sitting in a chair. And one thing that struck me was how different I think I move compared to how I actually move. But I did read that it wasn’t as good to film yourself as a reference. Because how you think you should move will influence your performance.

Previz time.

Today I have experimented with the timing with this here green ball, which is representing the character. The smaller blue ball is representing time itself, going a whole lap in one minute. Timing is the speed of an action, how long it takes to do a specific motion. And it is one of the principles of animation. You can read about all the 12 animation principles here. But there is a lot of different views on the matter, some say there is as much as 28 principles.



I also tried some key poses today. It was a little tricky getting started with the animation, but once I got started it went on pretty fast and felt good. However I did encounter some minor problems.


First problem was with the arms. I read that some animators switch between the ik and fk rig in the arms, depending on what the character is doing. (Ik is short for Inverse kinematics, and fk for Forward kinematics) Thinking that sounded like a good idea I started animating with the ik on. After a while I realized that I needed to use fk so I switched by keying it. No problems there. But once I was done I was gonna turn of the interpolation between keys, now that went well for everything but the arms. Interpolation is what Maya does between the keys, it is filling out the information itself. Well, so I kept the interpolation on and well, the whole thing just looks kind of funny.


Second problem also showed itself at the end when I realized that I had moved the whole character from the chair to where he jumps over the first hole, and keyed that. After that I didn’t do that again. That happened to change the pivot point of the character which made it a little tricky to loop everything.


But seeing as it was all just a days work, I will redo the beginning tomorrow before I start pushing the poses more. But here is the days work with the poses.

Researching and building the foundation.


This week has been devoted to reading books and tutorials on the subject of just character animation. I found a homepage by an animator named Kieth Lango which you can find here. He writes about many important things to consider when animating. Some of which I already knew, but not in such detail. Like the Line of action and the Reverse Line of action. How animation is about building up energy and then release it. Great stuff!


I learned something new in Maya, ghosting. Also known as “onion skin”. The ability to see how the character looks in other frames, when you are working in a different frame. I mean, flipping is great and all. But some times it can be really good to see both key poses when you are doing the inbetweens.


Also I finished the storyboard this week. It took quite some time getting the poses right. It is hard to figure out how some animations look, so next up will be to film some movement references. Then I can make the previz to get a hang on the timing.



Here is a blueprint on how I was thinking of building the scene. It will be a round track, somewhat like a clock. And the camera will be placed in the middle.

Character Animation, so it begins.

Hey there, the name is Jimmy Bråthen. I currently study my third and final year of computer graphics in Skellefteå, Sweden. At Luleå Technical University. For my final specialization project I am going to focus on animation, and more specifically general human movements. Such as walking, running and jumping. Everything will overlap and be put together into a short clip were the character wants to get from point A to B.

For this project I will use a free downloadable rig called Max, and I will be working and animating in Maya.